|Amos 7:14 presuppositions and rhetoric - Tim Bulkeley|
Amos 7:14 is a striking problem for interpreters, not least because what Amos is reported as saying to Amaziah seems to contradict what he is reported to be doing in the rest of the book. This makes it fertile ground for us to incorporate either our presuppositions or rhetoric into the text. (I use the NIV and Grasping Godâs Word) as examples in this but do not intend disrespect for the translators or authors, just to suggest they are human too! Duvall, J...
Keywords: bible; amos; prophecy; context; reading
|E100-8: Genesis 21:1-22:19: Life on a rollercoaster - Tim Bulkeley|
These two chapters, as well as some (now several millennia later) boring stuff about wells, contsain some of the heights and depths of human experience. A birth to a childless couple, well well after normal childbearing years, and nasty vindictive selfishness. But also an outrageous demand from God, blind obedience and a few hints of something greater to come...
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100
|Typescenes and the book of Ruth - Tim Bulkeley|
Typescene sounds like a typical technical term scholars use make Bible stories dull :( In this podcast I hope to show you it's exactly the opposite and that by spending 5 minutes learning about typescenes you can discover a livelyness you may have missed, even in a well-loved story like Ruth. (Other passage you should have ready, or look at before listening are: Genesis 24; 29 & Exodus 2:15ff..)
Keywords: Exodus; Genesis; Narrative; Ruth
|A Text without contexts is dumb! 2: Text without cotext is dumb - Tim Bulkeley|
For the second part of this "A text without contexts is dumb" series we'll think about cotext, the text that surrounds a text, providing context. The biblical examples come from Psalms and Ephesians. You might want to listen to Part 1 here first ;)
Keywords: Context; Ephesians; Psalms; bible; cotext; interpretation
|E100 week 2: Genesis 12-36: Patriarchs, Matriarchs and Faith - Tim Bulkeley|
The first week's readings covered the prologue to Genesis, the second week covers the Ancestors of Faith, the Matriarchs and Patriarchs of Israel. Here we begin to see the first outlines of God's plan to restore a world warped and twisted by human sin. We also begin to discover what it means to be "people of faith". ABRAHAM - PROMISE The first vertical window from the entrance on the north side represents Abraham and promise...
Keywords: E100; bible; Faith; Genesis; Sin
|Cliché Theology: Joshua 11:1-9 - Tim Bulkeley|
Sometimes a good old-fashioned cliché is the best way to achieve your desired effect, and communicate your theological message. I'll illustrate this using Joshua 11:1-9. The story of how Jabin of Hazor and all his allied kings were defeated by Joshua and Israel. (With some help from their friend!)
Keywords: cliche; theology; joshua; narrative; bible
|Casuistic and apodictic: part 2: The Jesus Key - Tim Bulkeley|
In this Iâll tell you how I think Jesus offers the key to how we should understand the casuistic laws of the Old Testament. Itâs simple, but as Iâll go on to show in later âcasts profound. The clue is found in a passage weâve looked at before (Matt 5) especially in Matt 5:17-22. (See here for that âcast, and here for a whole sermon ;) .
Keywords: Jesus; Law; Matthew; Reading; bible; casuistic; apodictic; genre
|Exodus 32: Who dunnit? - Tim Bulkeley|
Until Jeremy of Free Old Testament audio mentioned it the other day in his Exodus 32 - Who Brought the People out of Egypt? I had never really noticed how this text, the "Golden Calf" episode, offers three different answers to the question: Who brought Israel out of Egypt! When there are "rough edges" like this in a text it is a critic's job, any sort of critic worth their salt, to pick at them and hope to see more of how or why the text is constructed...
Keywords: exodus; narrative; biblical studies
|Biblical Narrative: Fraught with Background: Genesis 24 - Tim Bulkeley|
Eric Auerbach's famous quote about Biblical Narrative being "fraught with background" can sound puzzling. Here I'll try to explain it with reference to some trivial but intriguing details in Genesis 24. Reading the chapter in the Hebrew class we spotted several minor details in the telling that suggest, or hint ;) well, listen and find out what!
Keywords: bible; narrative; narratology; genesis
|A Text without Contexts is Dumb! - Tim Bulkeley|
This podcast is aimed at real beginners in biblical study and addresses why multiple contexts are important for reading/hearing texts, particularly the Bible.
Keywords: bible; context; interpretation; reading; culture; genesis psalms
|Ezra and the foreign wives - Tim Bulkeley|
At the end of the book of Ezra there a horrid account of Ezra and the "officials" gang up to force Judeans who have married foreign women to divorce them and send away them and their children. What do we do with passages like this? And as part of our thinking on this, where DO our values come from? If they donât come from the Bible, then do we have to use values established elsewhere to "judge" Scripture? Many people today do just that...
Keywords: (ana)Baptist reading; Ezra; Reading; bible; interpretation
|Complaint Psalms: Part One - Tim Bulkeley|
This post starts to talk about Psalm 22, mentioning Job 10 on the way, we will examine these passages as a way into understanding "complaint psalms". Complaints are the commonest type of psalm in the book of psalms. You might like to listen to my earlier post "Arguing with God: Jer 12:1-4" first, it sets the scene for this one, and should probably have been called "Complaint psalms: Part One"! I hope the next post - in a few days - will follow up looking some more at Psalm 22.
Keywords: Arguing with God; Complaint; Job; Psalms; lament; biblical studies
|E100-3: Genesis 6:5-7:24: Sin and Righteousness - Tim Bulkeley|
I think I've avoided really looking at this passage, and I notice that my teaching has focused too much on the signs of two source texts being edited together, and noticed too little how the story works, because like the genocide texts it offends my sense of right. The story looks different when one hears it as an exploration of the theme of sin and righteousness, as I'll try to here.
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100; flood
|Jonah pt.2: Jon 1:3 - What's going on? - Tim Bulkeley|
So, here's the second part of the Jonah series. This time we focus on 1:3. Again we end with a question - but at least the right question is better than the wrong answer!
Keywords: bible; jonah; genre
|What is the Bible? (Part 1) - Tim Bulkeley|
How do we picture Scripture? That is what is/are the (unconscious) models in our heads as we read and use the Bible? This âcast refers particularly to Gen 18:20ff. and Amos 7.
Keywords: bible; amos; genesis; reading; interpretation
|E100-9: Genesis 27-28: Dysfunctional but chosen - Tim Bulkeley|
Don't look for happy families in the tales of the ancestors, matriarchs and patriarchs, of God's chosen people. Genesis 27-28 carry the story into the next two generations but present a thoroughly dysfunctional family. Yet Genesis 28 tells also of one of the most dramatic revelations of God and renewal of Godâs promises to this chosen people. These chapters present a powerful reminder that humans are full of and ruled by sin, but that Godâs grace is not thwarted so easily...
Keywords: E100; Genesis; Grace; Sin
|Jesus as fulfilment of Scripture: Slavery and Spanking - Tim Bulkeley|
This 'cast continues the theme of Jesus as the "fulfilment" of Scripture, looking at one topic that's been settled for decades, and another that's as hot as today's headlines. (At least here in NZ where a bill to criminalise parents spanking children is set to become law shortly!)
Keywords: bible; Jesus; Proverbs; Reading; spanking; discipline
|E100-2: Genesis 3 - Tim Bulkeley|
This is the passage that makes sense of Gen 2, and of human life. Our world and our lives are broken and spoiled because of sin. Sin is not breaking rules, it is breaking relationship with the maker by wanting to assume the power ourselves. The reading of Genesis 3 is here. There is another take on this passage, talking about Bonhoefferâs paradoxical take on âconscienceâ in an earlier podcast.
Keywords: bible; creation; genesis; sin; fall
|Babel 2: Gen 11 a straight up and down story - Tim Bulkeley|
This podcast takes a second look at Babel, with a focus on the structure of the story, and its themes. It includes "homework" for which you should ideally have a photocopy of Genesis 11:1-9 (preferably in a fairly literal translation like NRSV, RSV, TNIV, NIV, ESVâ¦) and some coloured markers or crayons.
Keywords: gemesis; structure; bible; biblical studies
|Chance or Providence? - Tim Bulkeley|
Often in biblical narrative things "just seem to happen", rather like they do in our lives ;) But are such "happenings" chance or divine providence at work? We'll try to decide, using Gen 37:12ff. (read with Gen 39) and Ruth 2 as examples.
Keywords: Gapping; Genesis; Narrative; Ruth; biblical studies
|Arguing with God: Jer 12:1-4 - Tim Bulkeley|
In What is the Bible (Part 1) I talked of the Bible as witness, and mentioned stories where Abraham and Amos haggle with God, and ended with a reference to arguing with God in the Bible. Here I'll begin to explore Jeremiahâs side of the conversation from Jer 12:1-4 (we'll get to God's reply later!)
Keywords: Arguing with God; Complaint; Genre; bible
|Humour in the Bible: Part 2: Still Introducing Saul - Tim Bulkeley|
Here's a second instalment of Saul's introduction¦ if when you are listening you have a Bible handy, open it to 1 Sam 9:11ff.
Keywords: Bible; 1 Samuel; humour; humor; saul
|Bonhoeffer on Gen 3 - Conscience - Tim Bulkeley|
Bonhoeffer has some hugely stimulating ideas in his discussion of the "fall" story in Genesis 3. Probably none are more stimulating, or easy to fail to grasp as his thought about "conscience" - at least difficult for people for whom the idea that conscience is the "voice of God within" is deeply embedded, since Bonhoeffer almost reverses that idea, noticing that it is conscience that drives the first humans away from God!
Keywords: deitrich bonhoeffer; genesis; theology; fall
|E100-6: Genesis 12: How odd of God! - Tim Bulkeley|
Genesis 12 marks the beginning of the real story of the Bible. Chapters 1-11 are a prologue both to Genesis and to the Bible as a whole. They introduced us to "characters" (not least God - singular and with a capital G) and to the central issue that the Bible addresses. In chapter 12 we are introduced to Abraham, the first of the ancestors of the people God chose. Their story will fill the rest of the Old Testament...
Keywords: bible; E100; Faith; Genesis; Sin
|Being Ideal Readers: 1 in which we discover the importance of a Psalm - Tim Bulkeley|
In this podcast we'll begin to grapple with a complicated idea, but quite simply begin to discover how to become (more) ideal readers. We'll be looking at Eph 4 , and you will also need a bookmark in Ps 68 . This is a podcast in two parts (otherwise I'd have to change the name to 10 minute Bible, so do listen to tomorrow's episode after today's ;)
Keywords: audio.bible; ephesians; psalms; Reading; interpretation
|E100-5: Genesis 11:1-9: Babbling away at Babel - Tim Bulkeley|
This is a repost of one of two 5 Minute Bible pieces on Babel. The other one is here: Babel 2: Gen 11 a straight up and down story This time I've used some technical language, but I think it will make sense, however if you do want to learn more about 'point of view' and 'frames' you could see my Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Poetics which is not as technical as it may sound!
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100; babel; sin; grace
|E100-14: Genesis 43-44: The tension mounts - Tim Bulkeley|
In these chapters we see again very strongly that we are not told by the text how to understand people's actions, in these chapters we have to judge Joseph and his brothers, using the knowledge of good, evil and everything in between that is part of our experience as children of Eve and of Adam. And in this reading motives are far from clear cut!
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100; narrative; gapping
|Casuistic and apodictic: part 3: Jesus reads more Scripture - Tim Bulkeley|
We look at how Jesus reads other Bible passages (still in Matthew 5) to begin confirming the hypothesis that to read Scripture with Jesus is to make it so extreme that rules (casuistic law) become goals (apodictic command). Before you get to the next podcast it would be a good idea to listen to "What DOES 'fulfil' mean?" and "Jesus as fulfilment of Scripture: Slavery and Spanking"
Keywords: Jesus; Law; Matthew; Reading; bible; casuistic; apodictic; genre
|Obadiah and Jonah - Tim Bulkeley|
Juxtaposition: putting things together to make something "more than the sum of the parts" is a common artistic skill, it is common (but often unrecognised) in the Bible. As my least favourite book of the Bible helps reveal!
Keywords: isaiah; jonah; obadiah; bible
|Text, canon, and the woman caught in adultery - Tim Bulkeley|
The pericope in John 7:53-8:11 is a fascinating test case in the interaction of text criticism and canon. Both the history of canon, and textual criticism seem dull and unexciting. Yet here they combine into a detective story or a theological conundrum that contributes to making the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy conflict with most Christian preachers' practice! In this post I won't address the detective story...
Keywords: Canon; John; Textual criticism; biblical studies
|God the exegete: 2 Sam 7: Part One - Tim Bulkeley|
This is the first part of a short series (it might only be two parts, who knows ;) on passages where God exegetes his own words. In this part we'll look at 2 Samuel 7, where David wants to build a "house" = temple for God, since he already has a nice "house" = palace for himself ("house of cedar" means a palace with expensive wood panelling). I'll look at how God gives a four word speech and then explains in detail what it means...
Keywords: Bible; 2 Samuel; humour; humor; interpretation
|Genre matters: 1- Why genre matters - Tim Bulkeley|
For some reason one of the difficult stumbling blocks at the start of a Bible intro course is "genre" and why it matters. So, here's a < 5 minute Bible attempt to explain!
Keywords: bible; interpretation; genre; amos
|Ruth is from Moab, but Boaz is from Bethlehem - Tim Bulkeley|
After looking at Direct speech in biblical narratives and especially how the manner of speaking characterises Boaz and Naomi in the book of Ruth and a side glance at the question of whether Ruth's very arrival at Boaz' field was chance or not (in Chance or Providence?) I'd like now to suggestthat thinking more deeply about how Ruth is portrayed in chapter 2 can add a sharpness and richness to the story...
Keywords: Gender; Narrative; Reading; Ruth
|Twisted tales: or should the book of Judges be censored? - Tim Bulkeley|
Judges is definitely not suitable for Sunday School reading, the bits that are told are firmly censored, and few of us go back to notice what we are missing. But, if we do, what we find is a book chock full of horrid twisted tales, brutal, brutish and sadly not short. Why? Can such a nasty collection of stories be justified, or should it simply be banned?
Keywords: Judges; Narrative; Sex; bible
|Jonah 1:3-5 : Whatâs Jonah doing?! - Tim Bulkeley|
The puzzle of Jonah's actions, and other strange goings-on don't stop in Jonah 1:3, but deepen (pun intended) as we begin to read on ;) we meet the ship that had plans of its own and hear echoes of Santa Claus in the telling of Jonah's story ;)
Keywords: jonah; narrative; biblical studies; bible
|Jonah 1:2: three little words - Tim Bulkeley|
Continuing the series on Jonah, we rush ahead into the second verse of the book, only to spot yet again possibly more than one meaning. Jonahâs task however is clear. By the way I am sorry about the long delays recently, I hope to post more regularly again, but not till after enjoying a two week holiday - starting on Sunday.
Keywords: jonah; narrative; biblical studies; bible
|An Introduction to Gapping - Tim Bulkeley|
Gapping, where hearers have to "fill in" information that is missing in the text, is a really significant part of biblical story-telling. So, I'll need to introduce the idea to next year's Biblical Narrative class. Normally we "gap" unconsciously, and not just when reading narratives as I hope I'll show you in this podcast. We'll also begin to think about what makes gapping more - or less - legitimate...
Keywords: 2 corinthians; gapping; narrative; interpretation; bible; biblical studies
|Isaiah 40 in Babylon - Tim Bulkeley|
It is certainly one of my favourite Bible passages, indeed it is many people's favourite Bible chapter. Isaiah 40 is just full of superb phrases and pictures. Whenever it was composed, this chapter really comes to life and sparkles when it is heard as the Judean exiles in Babylon heard, it just before Cyrus the Persian king captured the city. For a better idea of the background watch the Video "Babylon as background to hearing Isaiah 40" (4MB).
Keywords: history; isaiah; bible; biblical studies
|E100 week 1: Genesis 1-11: The Bibleâs Prologue - Tim Bulkeley|
All, speech requires prior knowledge to be understood. Usually this is largely shared within a culture. So if I say "the cat" I do not usually have to tell you first what a cat is. (Even if in the context of a novel about old-time sailors it might be a whip. Some courses of study have organised "prerequisites" courses you must take before them. Many books have a preface or prologue that cointains material the author thinks you need to know before tackling the body of the work...
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100; prologue; sin; grace
|E100-4: Genesis 8:1-9:17 Sin and grace after the flood - Tim Bulkeley|
If this was a merely human story youâd expect God's bold attempt at drastic punishment to have an equally bold result. Either humanity reformed, or the rebellion gets deeper ;) But of course neither is possible. humanity is unreformable, just try making a few worthwhile New Year's resolutions to prove that ;) nor is rebellion any deeper possible. So what we get instead is a second old-fashioned word, to add to the collection of outmoded terms we began with "sin" earlier...
Keywords: bible; genesis; e100; flood
|Working with what the Bible doesn't say - Tim Bulkeley|
In this post I'll start looking at how we respond to the Bible's silences, often there are questions we want to ask the Bible, which the Bible does not answer. What do we do then? Some of these questions, like the one I start with produce classic biblical puzzlers ;) By the way, if the sound quality is not as good as usual, or if you hear building work or children playing in the background, that's because I recorded this post in the middle of a refugee camp! See another blog for more information...
Keywords: Genesis; Reading; Ruth; interpretation; bible
|Babbling about Babel: Gen 11:1-9: Part 1 - Tim Bulkeley|
Stephen suggested I do a 'cast about the Babel story, so here it is :) a first 'cast about Babel. In this one I'll begin with points of view and language. Since this will have to be a series we'll follow up from there later! For more about "point of view" and "frames" you could see my Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Poetics which is not as technical as it may sound!
Keywords: genesis; narrative; biblical studies
|Being Ideal Readers: 2 putting it all together - Tim Bulkeley|
In part two we get drawn to the hymn in Phil 2 and discover not only what Jesusâ disscension is all about, but also get to understand the talk of us being gifts in Eph 4:11-13 better. (If you have not listened to part 1 do listen to that first.)
Keywords: context; ephesians; Jesus; philippians; Reading
|E100-1: Genesis 1 and 2 - Tim Bulkeley|
The first reading in a series covering the 100 essential Bible readings, contains Genesis 1-2. The 50 passages from each Testament together give an overview of the whole Bible. Today we begin at the beginning with the first teo chapters of Genesis. I also dealt with Genesis 1 in a previous post. By the way there is a reading of the passage (if you want to hear rather than see it on PodBible.com). There is an RSS feed for the E100 series only.
Keywords: bible; genesis; prologue
|E100: Introduction to the plan - Tim Bulkeley|
Hereâs my overview of the E100 plan before I started doing the podcasts.It is mainly concerned with how (and why) they have selected the readings they have. It will be interesting to do another at the end, and compare my impressions of the list of readings âbeforeâ and âafterâ.
Keywords: bible; e100; reading; bible overview
|What is the Bible? (Part 2) a hologram? - Tim Bulkeley|
Many people think the Bible is like a hologram, any part of which shows the truth. The practice of scholars, preachers and teachers, of citing single verses or lists of verses to demonstrate something, encourages this view. The claim that the Bible is âinerrantâ in all its parts seems to seal the idea. Yet in the Bible God itself told us in the Bible that it is false!
Keywords: bible; job; reading
|Genesis 1: Beginning right - Tim Bulkeley|
This chapter is the beginning of the Bible, and beginnings are important. We learn why the world was made, and how God is "different". Among other structural details we will notice is this one (the diagramme may help as you listen): Day Creation Day Creation One Light Four Luminaries Two Water and Sky Five Birds and Sea Creatures Three Land and Vegetation Six Land animals (inc. Humans)
Keywords: bible; creation; genesis; structure
|Humour in the Bible: Part 1: Introducing Saul - Tim Bulkeley|
This is the first of what might need to be a long series! Just to do justice to the introduction of Saul in 1 Sam 9 I'll need at least 2 posts ;)
Keywords: Bible; 1 Samuel; humour; humor; saul
|E100-7: Genesis 15: Promises and a contract - Tim Bulkeley|
In this Genesis chapter 15 God keeps reiterating his promises to Abraham. Wonderful promises! But Abrahamâs replies are less than politely gracious. Which teaches us a thing or two about God :)
Keywords: E100; Genesis; bible; promises
|Direct speech in biblical narratives - Tim Bulkeley|
There are many ways in which the story-tellers of the Bible ensure that their tellings are lively and engaging. One is through the way they report speech. There is usually more "direct speech" (where the words of a character are "quoted") then "indirect speech" (where the teller tells us the gist of what the character said). This direct speech is often skillfully crafted to give a lively and rich portrayal of the person...
Keywords: 1 Samuel; Jonah; Narrative; Ruth